For PT Partner and Estates Director Greg Holcomb, music is both a personal respite and a rich education. Having grown up in L.A.’s vibrant culture, which thoroughly celebrates arts and music, Greg has a fervent passion for the energy and discipline of live performance. A board member of the Pasadena Symphony—one of the newest beneficiaries of the Partners Trust Charitable Giving Fund—Greg advocates for the non-profit’s mission to provide musical education of the highest quality.
We sat down with Greg to get an inside look at his involvement with the Pasadena Symphony and his ambitions for both Partners Trust and the organization through the end of the year. Needless to say, the two will be harmonic.
PT: As a 4th generation Angeleno, when and how did you get involved with the Pasadena Symphony?
GH: I used to attend the Pasadena Symphony as a teenager, always with my Grandmother with whom I was exceptionally close. When I recently moved back to Pasadena, I met Kay Kochenderfer-Toomey, the then-President of the Pasadena Symphony. With her encouragement, I was fortunate enough to be allowed to join the board and it has been an amazing experience.
PT: Did you explore any musical talents while growing up in Los Angeles?
GH: Other than some very poor bass guitar, I was and still am much more of a fan than a musician. When I was young, I was obsessed with all forms of music; but, at the time, I was more passionate about rock and the new music scene of the early 80s. Still, even while obsessing over the L.A. music scene, I always enjoyed live performance and sought out classical music, jazz and theater experiences. I thrived on that energy of live performance.
PT: What part of that experience led you to support the Pasadena Symphony?
GH: I have always been an enthusiastic supporter of music and the arts; they are crucial components to the vitality and well-being of a community.
PT: The Pasadena Symphony is committed to providing training and support to talented young musicians from over 45 different schools in L.A. county. Where does your commitment as a board member lie in that vision?
GH: Music provides innumerable benefits to the young. Did you know that 90% of the Nobel Prize winning scientists had strong musical backgrounds? A young person’s brain is literally re-wired when learning the art of musical performance and arrangement. Students are taught new ways of thinking, working together and musically collaborating. The benefits are endless and can show up indirectly throughout a person’s life—personally, professionally and in one’s community.
PT: In what ways do you believe the PT Charitable Giving Fund will be able to advance the Pasadena Symphony’s goals?
GH: Of course, the funds will be beneficial; however, what is equally, if not more important, is raising awareness that we have an amazing world-class symphony right here in our own city. I want to assist in securing a successful future for our symphony and the incredibly talented musicians we are so fortunate to have performing for us. Their talent and dedication is so inspiring.
PT: We understand that the organization is hosting a Fall Gala. In what ways do you plan on being involved?
GH: I am a sponsor and underwriter of the event. The Gala should be a real show-stopper and there will be both a live and silent auction as well as entertainment. I am really proud of our Pasadena Symphony staff and volunteers who do such an incredible job putting this event together.
PT: What is your main objective with the Pasadena Symphony as a PT Charitable Giving Fund beneficiary for the next six months?
GH: To share the gift of this amazing Symphony with everyone I can. I want as many people as possible to enjoy the performances and become enthusiastic fans and vocal ambassadors for such a gifted and incredibly important organization.